Tackle shop debts climb as they struggle to pay bills

Troubled tackle shops owe hundreds of thousands of pounds in unpaid bills as they struggle to make ends meet, according to an article in Tackle and Guns magazine the trade publication for the industry.

The Tackle and Guns articleIt says that some have gone bust, such as Burton on Trent dealer Mullarkeys which owed more than £44,000 to key suppliers, while many others have simply overstretched themselves and now find it hard to pay on time.

According to Tackle and Guns, the Angling Trades Association's credit circle has a list of more than 100 retailers that have 90-day debts totalling more than £363,384.

And while many suppliers say they have procedures in place to help hard-pressed shops to continue to trade, it is also acknowledged that large stock orders and extended credit are simply hammering more nails into their coffins.

Richard Sanderson, managing director at Shimano Normark UK, told Tackle and Guns: "We know that a number of smaller retailers are really struggling to clear outstanding balances, mainly against pre-season orders... what many retailers are doing is paying those suppliers they must have stock from during the next three to four months and the balance will have to wait."

Meanwhile, Robin Morley at Daiwa commented: "As always, the bigger shops are doing well in this climate but the weaker ones continue to struggle and, for them, things seem to be getting worse."

Certainly some suppliers appear to be taking a hard-line approach to dealers struggling to pay, but some in the industry believe that these are the very people to blame

Russell Weston, Managing Director at Snowbee (UK), said: "I was unsurprised by the current level of extended or potentially 'bad' debt in the angling trade and frankly have little sympathy for those at the receiving end of these debts. Some players are now offering crazy deals in terms of discounts, extended credit or staged payment plans.

"On the face of it these look like good deals for the hard-pressed retailers but, in reality, they're not! Almost without exception these deals are tied to vast stock orders for delivery early season and then payment plans through the year. To become 'locked in' to these extended deals, which in some cases can run until September the following year, is full of dangers. Not only is the retailer committing to large stock quantities, often over-extending himself/herself, but realistically he/she is relying on the last 25 per cent of sales to make his/her profit on the deal. A lot of things can change in nine months..."

Follow this link to read the full story at 'Tackle and Guns' magazine.

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